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La Liga: Lionel Messi brace against Osasuna ends Barcelona's 3-match winless streak

With this double, Messi moved ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for Golden boot with 11 for the season.

La Liga: Lionel Messi brace against Osasuna ends Barcelona's 3-match winless streak

New Delhi: Lionel Messi helped Barcleona get back to winning wasy with a brace against La Liga's bottom side, Osasuna. The Argentine struck twice as Barca recorded their first win in four La Liga games to close to within three points of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga standings.

The Catalan side looked likely to kill the game off but the Suarez-Messi duo missed two big chances.

The Uruguayan later rounded off a fine team move to break the deadlock just before the hour mark, followed by Messi`s double in the final 17 minutes of play.

With this double, Messi moved ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for Golden boot with 11 for the season.

Real Madrid can reclaim their 6-point lead at the top of the table and set a new club record unbeaten run of 35 games when they host Deportivo la Coruna.

"We are Barcelona and we know we can never give up," Suarez told BeIN Sports Spain.

"We are candidates to win the league, it doesn`t matter if we are four, five, six or seven points behind, we won`t give up."

Osasuna remain five points off safety their performance showed why they are still without a home win all season as the hosts were opened up at will.

"We were patient and generated a lot of chances," said Barca boss Luis Enrique.

"It was key to go in front and calm ourselves down.

"The goals came in the second-half, but we deserved to go in front in the first-half and have a much easier game."

Barca created fewer chances in the second half, but were more clinical.

Sergio Busquets and Messi combined to release Jordi Alba on the left and his low cross was rolled into an unguarded net by Suarez despite Osasuna calls for offside.

The second goal came about in similar fashion 13 minutes later as Alba again got to the by-line and his cross was volleyed home by Messi at the near post.

And Messi didn`t need any help for his second in stoppage time as he wriggled clear of three Osasuna defenders and left Perez on the floor before lifting the ball high into the net.

Valencia remain above the relegation zone only on goal difference despite more penalty heroics from goalkeeper Diego Alves in a 3-2 defeat at Real Sociedad.

Alves saved the 23rd penalty of 47 he has faced in Spanish football from Carlos Vela, but it mattered little as a Willian Jose double and Juanmi`s injury time strike moved Sociedad up to fourth.

Valencia have won just one game in eight since former Italy boss Cesare Prandelli took charge in October.

(With AFP inputs)

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